From Sand (Part 1)

SKU: 884501653923
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Private Release
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Second album from this Brazilian/American progressive metal band. The Element was assembled by Brazilian transplant Rafael Macedo who handles all the lead vocals and guitars. He's enlisted Circle II Circle bassist Mitch Stewart, former Imagika drummer Henry Moreno, as well as keyboardist Jeremy Villucci. The band's music bears the imprint of the obvious prog metal influence of Dream Theater but there is definitely an epic Pink Floyd quality to their music. Sort of like Images & Words meets The Wall. Macedo's vocals are excellent and he's quite an accomplished guitarist as well. Nice and tasteful soloing through out without turning into a nonstop shredfest - an album that seems to put melody at the forefront but with a solid foundation in musicianship. This arrives beautifully packaged in a DVD sized fold out digipak. I think this is a band we are going to hear a lot about. Highly recommended.

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    $13.00
  • This album has been kicking around for a few years so its nice to see it get its well deserved release. Vitruvius are a progressive metal band from Mexico. There is a twist to the band. They are fronted by Dulce Robles. She has a wonderful voice and is a bit of a contrast to the intricate metal supporting her. The band injects a bit of fusion into the mix but its not predominant. The comparison that comes to mind is Aghora, although not as technical. Further along those lines would be To-Mera but Ms. Robles' vocals are totally integrated with the instruments. With the right push these guys (and girl) could make some waves in the currently quiet prog metal scene. Highly recommended.
    $5.00
  • Lord Of Mushrooms are a French progressive metal band. After recording an ok debut, the followed it up with a killer sophomore release in Seven Deadly Songs...then they went silent. I know they did some oddball stuff like tour China (which is actually pretty cool!) but its been 7 years since that second disc. The band is back in spades albeit with a new lineup (3 new members are in place). They are now fronted by ex-Adagio vocalist Gus Monsanto, who keeps it clean here. The band doesn't really stray much from their formula. This is solid, melodic progressive metal with some subtle injections of quirkiness. Kind of like Dream Theater meets Circus Maximus meets A.C.T. At the moment this is just what I needed to hear. Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • Fourth studio album from Leprous reinforces the fact that they are one of the most innovative and cutting edge bands working in the prog metal idiom.  The music of Coal has already kicked up a bit of controversy from the early listeners.  The music isn't quite as angular and frenetic as Bilateral.  Atmospheric passages similar to Tall Poppy Syndrome are perhaps a bit more prevalant as well.  All in all it's clearly identifiable as Leprous.  Ihsahn guests on one of the tracks - don't forget Leprous is his backing band.  Nice guys - great band.  Highly recommended.This is the limited edition mediabook.  Basically is hardbound and has one additional track which is not on the domestic version - a remix of "Foe"."Considering Leprous‘s previous album Bilateral is considered by many to be a masterpiece of progressive metal; Norway’s Leprous had a tall order in front of themselves. Coming up with a followup to such a critically acclaimed and beloved album is no doubt a daunting task. Despite that, after two long years of waiting, Leprous have conjured the successor to Bilateral, and it’s called Coal. Usually, when bands release an album after their magnum opus, the result is either a “version 2.0″ of the previous album, or it’s a return back to the normal style of the band. Leprous have taken a bold turn instead, and they have reinvented themselves. Coal is clearly a Leprous album, carrying all their trademark touches, but it’s also very fresh and unique.With Bilateral, the band were clearly rooted in a sound that has been defined by the big names of progressive metal. By applying their characteristic syncopation, moody riffs and singer Einar Solberg’s haunting and powerful vocals, they were able to perfect an already existing sound. With Coal, the band have taken a different direction. The album is very dense, emotional, and quite avant-garde at times. While there are some more traditional songs similar to Bilateral, there’s also an air of neo-80s on some songs, while others carry some characteristics of modern Scandinavian indie bands. Longtime fans of Leprous will definitely see the direction that has been present since the band’s inception, but listeners who know of them only via Bilateral might be slightly confused. In the end, Leprous have always been about mood, and Coal is oozing with it.In terms of structure, Coal is more similar to Tall Poppy Syndrome than Bilateral (but not too similar to either in the end). The songs are slow burners, setting up a mood, then deliberately building on it until overwhelming the listener with the climax. Everything is very subtle, the production making every hit of every instrument matter. Each song is an exercise in building an atmosphere by slowly adding layers to form a very powerful sound. Einar Solberg is at his best here, he has taken his voice to the next level. He was already an amazing vocalist, but Coal sees him becoming a master of expression. There are many progressive metal bands nowadays with clean singers who can hit insanely high notes and execute amazing melodies. But what is often lost is the soft touch, the control over timbre that makes one’s voice special. Einar is a master of timbre, and he uses his abilities to their full extent in Coal. While this is an album about the big picture and constructing an ambiance with the convergence of all instruments, his unparalleled vocal skills definitely deserve a special mention, because he is what hammers down the emotions and makes this album so special.As mentioned before, Coal is a deliberate album, where attention is paid to every instrument. And the production, by Ihsahn (who also has a stellar guest appearance on the closing track), is perfect for this. Especially of note are the drums, they sound very real and quaint. The intimate feeling of some of the songs can directly be attributed to the unconventional drum sound. The drumming has also taken a turn for the more subtle, with small flourishes and cymbal runs building tension in the more atmospheric sections of some songs. The bass is also clearly audible and adds to the sound. The guitar work isn’t as flashy as Bilateral for the most part, but it also has more character because of that. It should come as no surprise to longtime followers of the band, but Leprous are masters of doing more with less, and all of the instruments reflect this. Another production detail worth noting is the presence of keyboards. The keyboard work is more prominent now. In Bilateral it was used mostly to add some extra layers to parts driven by the guitars, but here the keyboards form the building blocks of the sound. This is perhaps what sets the album apart from Leprous’s previous work, the heavier focus on atmosphere and a dense aural landscape. This might be disappointing to some who preferred the more direct approach of Bilateral, as Coal is less “metal”, but the more developed sound suits the band.In terms of songs, Coal is a very diverse album. The first three songs and the closer can be interpreted as a direct evolution of the band’s sound from their previous work, then there is the extremely moody and emotional masterpiece “The Cloak”. This is where the album takes a turn for the introspective, as the rest of the songs are quite experimental and ethereal. Overall, the album has a very clear journey with a defined start and end, and it works quite well. Some of the later songs can feel like they last half a minute too long, but the deliberate pacing of the album makes more sense as is.In the end, it’s hard to deny that Coal is yet another masterpiece by Leprous. The songs ooze character and deliberation. Coal is expressive, emotional and brave. It might not be what everyone expected after Bilateral, but Leprous have defied expectations and raised the bar again." - Heavy Blog Is Heavy
    $17.00
  • New solo album from Arjen Lucassen demonstrates a lighter hand than the Ayreon and Star One projects. This has a more overtly prog rock feel - quite melodic and at times spacey. Lots of similarities to Pink Floyd circa "The Wall" in places."The story of "Lost In The New Real" follows Mr. L, a 21st-Century man who was cryopreserved at the moment of clinical death from a terminal disease. The album begins as Mr. L is being revived at a point in the distant future, when technology has advanced enough to cure his disease. Mr L finds himself in a world that has drastically changed — to the point that the line between what's real and what's not is no longer clear.Mr. L's appointed psychological advisor (played by legendary screen actor Rutger Hauer) is tasked with helping him emotionally adapt to this strange new world. The songs on CD1 follow the main character Mr. L's emotional journey as he is confronted with both serious and comical aspects of the "New Real", and desperately tries to decide if he can find a meaningful place within it.CD2 is a mix of songs that are part of the concept but didn't fit on CD1, and cover songs that are (more or less) related to the concept. "
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  • Second album from this great Italian progressive power metal band, who's career was launched by Sensory Records. Most of the material is written by drummer Ivan Moni Bidin but the real star of the band is vocalist Marco Sandron. He has great range and clarity that is some ways reminds a bit of Andre Matos. Pathosray don't stalk new ground but any fan of melodies mixed with crunchy metallic heaviness needs to check these guys out. Quickly becoming one of the best bands in the genre...a
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  • "On their seventh studio album (and first for the Metal Blade label), King's X get back on the right track with Tape Head. Their previous release, 1996's Ear Candy, did indeed contain several superb tracks ("The Train," "Looking for Love," etc.), but was not consistently as great as such past classics Gretchen Goes to Nebraska and Dogman. Maybe their reinstated songwriting focus is due to the fact that both bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick and guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor took time off to work on solo projects prior to the album's recording. Other reasons for the album's success could have been that it was written and produced entirely by the band (without the aid of outsiders), and the majority of the album's tracks were a collaboration by all three members. With the exception of one track, the album is one long highlight -- tracks such as "Cupid," "Ocean," "Little Bit of Soul," and "Hate You" are all examples of King's X at the height of their powers. The only weak track on the album is its closer, "Walter Bela Farkas (Live Peace in New York)," which contains irritating screaming over a live band improvisation. Still, it doesn't prevent Tape Head from being one of King's X's finest, and one of the best hard rock releases of 1998." - All Music Guide
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  • 28 years is a long time for a band to stay together but that's how long Woodenhead has been playing together. They have quietly cultivated a dedicated cult following in New Orleans. Now Free Electric Sound is bringing this extraordinary quartet to a national audience. Woodenhead's music is a spicy gumbo of jazz fusion, symphonic rock and local R 'n' B flavors (sorry for the wordplay!) The group has toured the U.S. and Central America and has played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for over 20 years. The band has played with the Dixie Dregs, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea's Elektrik Band, John McLaughlin Trio, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, Tuck And Patti, Hugh Masekela, Spyro Gyra, Robben Ford, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and John Mayall, and has toured with the Steve Morse Band and Allan Holdsworth."Perseverance", the band's 6th album, was recorded live in New Orleans and captures all the energy and emotional playing of a Woodenhead gig. Augmented by a horn section, the band's music comes across as a blend of the Dixie Dregs, Happy The Man, and Hot Rats-era Zappa. This is an album with broad appeal to fans of jazz rock, prog rock and even Cajun music. "At the New Orleans jazz festival, Woodenhead gets a standing ovation for teaching traditional jazz fans just how far imagination and electricity can push the form" - Esquire magazine
    $5.00
  • Crystal Breed is a new prog metal band out of Germany. While there is plenty of chops from hell on display there is also a very strong melodic side to the band. They constantly emphasize vocal harmonies. In an odd way I am reminded of Queen, Neal Morse, The Beatles, ELO, and Muse...and that's just all in one song. The band catches your ear with a pop element but then they hammer you with some killer solos. If I had to make a comparison it would probably be to A.C.T (and whatever happened to those guys anyway?). Clever catchy stuff. Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "Forget the NWOBHM band name, CD title and cover art: Invisigoth's Alcoholocaust is not New Wave of British Heavy Metal. In fact, it's the antithesis of that. And it's actually quite terrifying, in a laid-back, arty sort of way. Think Porcupine Tree or Blackfield providing the soundtrack to slow torture. Yet, this is an engaging and imminently listenable spin. Consisting entirely of two members — Cage on all instruments and Viggo Domino on all vocals — Invisigoth sets out to make a primal musical statement with foundations in esoteric philosophy, hedonism and psychedelics. Domino takes his voice in so many multiple and moody directions that he often sounds like more than one vocalist, and Cage deserves a drink for his ability to make music epic, dense and sparse (and then somehow piece it all together effectively). The duo throws in a Led Zeppelin cover at the end, for some reason. Ultimately, this is one for goths, proggers and rockers that will leave them with a sense of uncomfortable satisfaction." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $3.00
  • "When one thinks of countries that are a hotbed of prog metal bands, places such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland come to mind. However the Land Down Undah’ otherwise known as Australia has been churning out amazing prog metal bands for the past decade. Bands such as Hemina, Voyager, Lord, Carnivool, Caligula’s Horse, Teramaze and Melbourne’s Vanishing Point have been wowing the prog metal scene for the past decade. It’s been seven long years since the release of Vanishing Point’s The Fourth Season, but the melodic metal quintet consisting of Silvio Massaro (Vocals), Chris Porcianko and James Maier (Guitars), Simon Best (Bass), and Christian Nativo (Drums) have finally returned with their fifth studio album Distant Is The Sun on AFM Records. The band has stayed true to their unique blend of progressive, power, AOR metal and have secured the talents of Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann of Ordan Ogen for mixing duites on Distant Is The Sun. Picking up right where The Fourth Season left off, the musicianship and songwriting on Distant Is The Sun is exceptional.The album kicks off with the short instrumental track Beyond Redemption and powers right into the first song King of Empty Promises. The double bass drum attack from Nativo and melodic keyboards lead the way and the harmonious soaring vocals during the chorus are a perfect way to officially start the album.The title track is next and begins with a heavy groove and transforms into a light piano tinged verses with Massaro’s impressive vocals leading to a catchy and melodic chorus. The twin guitar harmony lead attack from Porcianko and Maier is a thing of beauty during the solo section.Symphonic keys signify the start of When Truth Lies, an epic slab of energetic melodic progressive metal with a driving headbanging beat. Sonata Arctica frontman Tony Kaako lends his melodic pipes to the fast and furious power metal of Circle of Fire. Kaako and Massaro’s vocals compliment each other extremely well and create an amazing metal duet.The keyboard prominence on Denied Deliverance is pronounced in the mix but never overshadows the heaviness of the track, it just adds to the overall melody of the song. A blazing guitar solo section highlights the middle portion of another stellar song. Let the River Run has an impeccable acappella vocal harmony section that begins this mid tempo metal gem. The beautiful vocals during the chorus will be stuck in your head for days after listening.The album slows down for the piano based Story of Misery but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a traditional power ballad. The emphasis is on POWER with a emotive vocal performance from Massaro. Era Zero speeds things right back up with a frenzied double kick attack with plenty of soaring melodic vocals throughout and a shredding guitar solo from the tandem of Porcianko/Maier and culminates in a symphonic ending and bursts right into Pillars of Sand which keeps the hard and fast metal flowing.The eerie keyboard intro of As December Fades melds into a Maiden-esque guitar harmony and a glorious AOR sounding chorus with a symphonic element that is reminiscent of Within Temptation. A bright piano melody signals the beginning of Handful of Hope. Once again Massaro gets his chance to shine with an impressive vocal performance filled with passion and emotion. The bands penchant for writing catchy power metal is on display on Walls of Silence. The brilliant symphonic melodies and heavy guitar compliment each other perfectly. The album closes with the acoustic guitar tinged instrument titled April, an understated yet effective piece of music with a keyboard accompaniment underneath in the mix. It is a curious choice to end the album, but well done nonetheless.After a seven-year absence, the world of melodic prog welcomes back Vanishing Point with open arms and hopefully Distant Is The Sun will shoot the band to the next level of popularity outside their native Australia. This goes to show that like a fine wine, Vanishing Point only improves with age!" - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
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    $5.00